Driven By Innovation

TOP 25 Innovations For
Producing Greenhouse Crops






Carts/Rolling Racks


Photoperiod (long days versus short days)


Plant Growth Regulators


Plastic Plug & Liner Trays






Plant Tags


Temperature Controlled Transport


Computerized Systems


Liners/Rooted Cuttings




DIF (manipulating day and night temperature to influence plant growth)


Electronic Data Interchange


F¹ Hybrids


Plastic Flats


Chemical Injectors


Gutter-Connected Greenhouse Structures


Peat Moss


Polyethylene Greenhouse Film


Tissue Culture


Insecticides & Miticides


Water Soluble Fertilizer


Federal Express/UPS and Other Carriers


Programmable Booms


Web Sites

We kick off our 25th anniversary celebration of Greenhouse Grower with fun features, including this Top 25 list, which ranks the most significant inventions and discoveries that have advanced greenhouse crop production.

Twenty leading growers and industry experts helped us rank more than 120 innovations in importance on a scale of 1 to 10. While a ranking of 1 was "not important or relevant," a ranking of 10 was "revolutionary, completely changed the industry." With the 20 evaluators, the most points an innovation could have received is 200. The innovations were sorted into 14 categories to group related products and concepts together.

Plugs came out on top with 171 points, followed by seeders with 170 points. Interestingly enough, the two are closely related. We had a three-way tie at No. 25 with Web sites, programmable booms and carriers like Federal Express and UPS garnering 145 points each. The highest-rated production concept was the understanding of photoperiod, which tied with carts/rolling racks with 167 points. We also learned growers love their plant growth regulators, which earned 166 points at No. 5.

Growers appreciated the opportunity to participate. "Thank you for inviting me to partake in this examination of what innovations have made the grand differences in our industry’s expansion," says Jose Costa of Costa Farms in Goulds, Fla. "I think it is a great thing to reflect on how we got where we are so we can be clear in what our focus as an industry should be going into the future."

Check out the list and tell us if you agree or disagree. Are these the 25 most significant innovations? We are going to open up this survey to our entire readership and post comparison results as a feature in Benchrunner, our weekly e-newsletter. Stay tuned!

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories
TTA PackPlanter S-2

October 16, 2017

TTA Introduces New Transplanter Suited for Smaller Grow…

The PackPlanter S has 16 grippers and a capacity of 10,000 to 20,000 plugs per hour in a small frame.

Read More
Karen Reardon, RISE

October 15, 2017

Karen Reardon of RISE Honored by CropLife America

CropLife America presented Reardon with its highest staff award for her successful effort to defend against the ban of pesticide use on private property in Maryland.

Read More

October 14, 2017

PlantPeddler Hosting Poinsettia Variety Day in December

The event will feature side-by-side comparisons of more than 100 commercial and pre-released varieties from seven breeders.

Read More
Whitefly adult

October 13, 2017

Researchers Continue to Keep Close Tabs on Whitefly

Dr. Lance Osborne of the University of Florida and Dr. Cindy McKenzie of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service are evaluating insecticide efficacy and the impact of product rotations on whitefly biotype populations.

Read More
GVZ Glasshouses

October 12, 2017

How to Deal With Common Greenhouse Maintenance Issues

The most common problems often come from a lack of cleanliness and faulty equipment. Here are a number of tips you can follow in each of these areas.

Read More
Mark Schneid

October 11, 2017

Bayer’s New Head of Environmental Science Has Roots in …

Mark Schneid says one of the biggest challenges the industry faces is the constantly evolving customer — particularly among millennials.

Read More

October 10, 2017

Houston-Based TreeTown USA Acquires Village Nurseries

With the addition of the new West Coast division, which will continue to operate under its trade name of Village Nurseries, TreeTown USA will now encompass 16 farm locations throughout California, Texas, and Florida, with more than 4,000 acres in production.

Read More

October 10, 2017

Sharpen Your Skills in Cost Management and Profitabilit…

The University of Florida is offering a new online course on costing and profitability. The course will take growers through the process of how to accurately evaluate cost of production, labor efficiency, pricing, and equipment investment decisions.

Read More

October 10, 2017

Coastal Callas Is a Dream Fulfilled for Founder Adrian …

Adrian Espinoza and his family founded Rancho Espinoza Inc. and Coastal Callas in California seven years ago with a mission and purpose to provide consistent quality and reliable supply of calla lilies to the marketplace.

Read More
Phillips, Ball Seed Partnership

October 10, 2017

Philips Lighting, Ball Seed Partner on Distribution

Ball Seed will now offer Philips GreenPower LED lighting as a complement to its liners, plugs, unrooted cuttings, seed, and prefinished products.

Read More
1B Filling trays for Transplanting Feature

October 9, 2017

Maximize Your Labor Efficiency When Sticking Plant Cut…

Transplanting unrooted cuttings into trays is one of the most labor-intensive activities in greenhouse production.

Read More

October 8, 2017

Greenhouse Equipment Supplier AgriNomix is Expanding

In an effort to keep up with demand from growers venturing into automation, the company is adding almost 20,000 square feet of warehouses and offices.

Read More
Nitrogen Deficiency on Foxglove feature

October 7, 2017

Herbaceous Perennial Nutrition: What You Need to Know

Regardless of your production challenges, keeping containerized herbaceous perennials healthy is as simple as understanding the basics of their nutritional needs.

Read More
Micandy Ownership Team feature

October 6, 2017

Team Empowerment Pays Off at Micandy Gardens Greenhouse…

With a strong team that acts more like family powering its success, the 2017 Operation of the Year mixes good business practices with the pleasure of spreading the joy of plants.

Read More
LX60 Series (Heliospectra) feature

October 5, 2017

Greenhouse Lighting Suppliers Focused on Efficiency and…

Deciding the best lighting system for your greenhouse — whether you’re growing ornamentals, vegetables, herbs, or something else — can be challenging. Here’s a close look at some of the latest lighting options on the market, and how you can determine whether they are a good fit for your operation.

Read More
Azalea Encore Autumn Bonfire

October 4, 2017

Big Changes on the Horizon for Woody Ornamentals

The future looks bright for the woody ornamentals market, with exciting new varieties in the pipeline that will offer greater disease resistance, cold hardiness, bloom capacity, and more.

Read More

October 3, 2017

25 New Blooming Potted Plants for Luxury Sales

Consider these new blooming potted plant varieties that offer full blooms, unique foliage, and a touch of extravagance and easy maintenance for time-strapped customers who want to pamper themselves.

Read More
Succulent landscape

October 3, 2017

The Landscape Show is Back; Here’s All the Details

After being temporarily canceled due to Hurricane Irma, the FNGLA Landscape Show will return to Orlando in early November.

Read More